During a rally held on March 23, 2014, in Gaza to mark the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hamas’ founding “spiritual guide,” Sheik Ahmad Yassin, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya admonished the gathered crowds to, “establish the balance of terror. Out of the ruins, we shall rock Tel Aviv.” The Muslim masses responded with chants of “Strike, strike Tel Aviv.”  Echoing the ancient sentiments of Islam’s prophet and prototype jihadist, Muhammad*, extolled as the ultimate “Jihad Model” by “moderate” head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Haniya added the jihadist matrydrom mantra**,

we are a people that yearn for death, just as our enemies yearn for life. We yearn for martyrdom for the same goal for which our leaders died

More ominously, Haniya’s speech alluded to Hamas’ now well-established  massive network of underground infiltration tunnels:

From below ground and above ground, you, the Occupiers, will be dismissed. You have no place in the land of Palestine.

Currently, as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge continues, necessitated by Hamas’ latest round of unprovoked missile barrages targeting civilian population centers,  the Israeli counter-attack is appropriately focused on an aggressive campaign against the tunnels. Monday, 7/21/14, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) thwarted a jihad terror assault after two groups of Hamas terrorists (about ten in number) infiltrated from Gaza to Israel through a tunnel, ostensibly on their way to conduct a mass casualty attack at Kibbutz Erez and/or Kibbutz Nir Am. Earlier, IDF forces halted several other attempted attacks by Hamas near Kibbutz Sufa and Kibbutz Nirim which also utilized attack tunnels. Dozens of tunnels in Gaza, adjacent to Israel’s border, have been uncovered, and destroyed. Reaching lengths of up to 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles), some of these tunnels penetrate deep into Israeli territory.

Hamas Prime Minister Haniya’s explicit March 23, 2014 reference to jihad terrorism waged “from below ground,” unmasked what Israeli President Shimon Peres observed with regard to the recently thwarted attack on Kibbutz Sufa: a planned campaign by Hamas to inflict wholesale, deliberate slaughter of Israeli non-combatants.

Notwithstanding over a quarter century of morally bereft wishful ignorance, and deliberate obfuscation, the enduring motivations for Hamas’ genocidal wishes—and accompanying actions—vis-à-vis Jews, were laid out unambiguously in its August 18, 1988 covenant.  Moreover, within 6-months of the publication of Hamas’ foundational covenant, the late historian David Littman waged a unique, heroic personal campaign—in public, at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), beginning January, 1989 (see Human Rights and Human Wrongs,” World Union for Progressive Judaism, Geneva, 1989, N° 6, p. 3, statement by David G. Littman, E/CN.4/1989/SR.2)to elucidate key aspects of the jihad terror organization’s genocidal ideology.

Addressing the UNHRC January 31, 1989, less 6-months after the Hamas covenant was made public, Littman warned that the document was,

a blatant blueprint for genocide, undoubtedly inspired by its spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. I have with me a copy of the Arabic text and an English translation. Its aims are clearly defined in article 8, under the title, “Slogan”: “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution; Jihad is its path, and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of wishes.” Article 13 declares: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.” And article 28 does not beat about the bush: “Israel, Judaism, and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people: ‘May the cowards never sleep.’”

Twenty-five years ago, Littman observed then, as now, how Hamas was “operating mainly in Gaza—but also in the West Bank—in collaboration with PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization] groups.” David Littman concluded by excoriating alleged “peacemakers,” whose delusions about Hamas’ openly professed ideology are still wreaking calamitous consequences, repeated by their equally witless policymaking successors today.

These realities cannot be brushed aside simply because they are embarrassing, but should rather serve as a serious warning to the gullible for whom an appeasing, misguiding, “peace in our time,” will-o’-the-wisp remains a constant obsession.

In subsequent presentations on the Hamas covenant, Littman demonstrated, unapologetically, how its annihilationist hatred was sanctioned by Islam’s primary, canonical texts. He also reminded us why it is so critical to focus on Hamas’ odious covenant as a binding documentary record of the organization’s specific beliefs and goals:”

Hitler understood this when he wrote in the preface to Mein Kampf: “the basic elements of a doctrine must be set down in permanent form in order that it may be represented in the same way and in unity.” [Hitler, Preface to Mein Kampf (Reynal and Hitchcock translation)]. After his release from an Israeli prison and return to Gaza in October 1997, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual head of Hamas, declared that Israel must “disappear from the map.” He added: “We have an aim and an enemy, and we shall continue our jihad against the enemy. A nation without a jihad is a nation without a purpose.”

The following discussion is indebted to David Littman’s prescient analyses (summarized here, and here), supplementing and updating his original insights.

Hamas cleric Wael Al-Zarad during a television program which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on February 28, 2008 explained that the Muslims’ blood vengeance against the Jews, “will only subside with their [the Jews] annihilation, Allah willing, because they tried to kill our Prophet several times.” These allegations are part of a central antisemitic motif in the Koran which decrees an eternal curse upon the Jews (Koran 2:61/ reiterated at 3:112) for slaying the prophets and transgressing against the will of Allah.

And Koran 3:112 is featured before the pre-amble to Hamas’ foundational Covenant—it is literally part of the very first statement of the document. [Here is the Arberry translation of 3:112: “Abasement shall be pitched on them, wherever they are come upon, except they be in a bond of God, and a bond of the people; they will be laden with the burden of God's anger, and poverty shall be pitched on them; that, because they disbelieved in God's signs, and slew the Prophets without right; that, for that they acted rebelliously and were transgressors”]

In classical and modern Koranic exegeses by seminal, authoritative Islamic theologians (for details, see here) this central motif is coupled to Koranic verses 5:60, and 5:78, which describe the Jews transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or simply apes, (i.e. verses 2:65 and 7:166), having been “…cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary’s son” (5:78). Muhammad himself repeats this Koranic curse in a canonical hadith (Sunan Abu Dawoud, Book 37, Number 4322), “He [Muhammad] then recited the verse [5:78]: ‘…curses were pronounced on those among the children of Israel who rejected Faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus the son of Mary’”.